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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska


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Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Tuesday, August 02

 

Total Number of Records Found: 95

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PST2:   

Poster Session II
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:45PM
  Author: TBA
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: None
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A01:   

Students' Retention and Transfer of Problem Solving through Modeling Activities
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Bijaya Aryal, University of Minnesota-Rochester
5072588216, baryal@umn.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The development of students' problem solving skills has been considered one of the major challenges in physics instruction. This study examined the effect of modeling activities on retention and transfer of problem solving skills. An instructional method was designed to help students make connections among ideas learned from various areas to solve physics problems. The method used plan-search-execute (PSE) as three stages of problem solving strategy. The students were expected to represent complex physics problems with simple physical models. The problem solving activity was integrated with abstractly related hands-on activities. Finally, to assess whether or not the students retained and transferred the desired skills, they were asked to solve new sets of related contextual physics problems individually. The results showed a positive influence of modeling activities on student retention of problem solving. The transfer was noticeable only when the modeling activities and related hands-on activities were appropriately sequenced.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A03:   

Measurements of Students' Performance on Computational Exercises in Introductory Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Marcos D. Caballero, Georgia Institute of Technology
770-827-3185, caballero@gatech.edu
  Co-Author(s): Matthew A. Kohlmyer, Michael F Schatz
  Abstract: The impact of laboratory and homework exercises on the development of computational thinking is evaluated using a proctored end-of-course computational exercise. We present the motivation for and development of this proctored assignment, an analysis of erroneous student code, and the implications for teaching computation to introductory physics students.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A04:   

Turning the Tables: Letting Middle Schoolers Teach College Students Science
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Jon D. H. Gaffney, University of Kentucky
(724)601-5936, jon.gaffney@uky.edu
  Co-Author(s): Paul Broderson
  Abstract: Seventh graders at a local, low-income serving middle school developed instructional presentations for simple natural phenomena such as acid/base reactions and crushing soft drink cans. Typically, they share these interactive lessons with elementary school students. However, I invited them to turn the tables on my students, elementary education majors enrolled in a required physics course during the spring of 2011. The 7th graders taught their lessons to the future teachers, demonstrating an energizing confidence and enthusiasm. The activities encouraged the pre-service teachers to think about science in new ways, and many even reported the visit as being their favorite day of class. Hopefully, we will be able to capture and build upon that enthusiasm. In the future, we intend more reciprocal visits, where the middle school students get to both teach and learn physics lessons from the university students.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A05:   

Verification of the Gravitational Equivalence Principles Using Video Modeling
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Carolina Galvis, Grupo de Física / Gimnasio La Montaña
6761861, grupofisica@glm.edu.co
  Co-Author(s): Mauricio Mendivelso-Villaquirán
  Abstract: Some gravitational experiments need special conditions that are not available in the classroom (i.e. low friction, low air drag force or absence of gravitational field). Following video analysis by Persson and Hagen (Phys. Educ. 46,12) we verify the weak equivalence principle in our classroom. In addition, we verify the strong equivalence principle using the same technique and a low-cost experimental setup.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A06:   

What Is a Quantum?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Art Hobson, University of Arkansas
479-575-5918, ahobson@uark.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Electrons, photons, etc., are field quanta, yet we continue to teach students that they are particles, thus making quantum physics into a topic that's not only difficult but, much worse, logically inconsistent. An elementary field quantum is a discrete, spatially extended, highly unified, bundle of field energy. Quantum field theorists understand that "particles" are quanta of various fields. The Schroedinger equation describes nonrelativistic material field quanta. But this understanding has not seeped through to most teachers and so students are stuck with all sorts of wave-particle paradoxes. How can particles exhibit all these extended, non-local effects? Not only these paradoxes, but such vacuum phenomena as the Lamb shift and Casimir effect, testify to the primacy of a field picture. This poster presents a simple method of teaching these fundamentals, along with supporting statements by Maxwell, Einstein, Weinberg, and Robert Mills.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A07:   

Engaging Non-STEM Majors in Authentic Problem Solving
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Daniel Loranz, Truckee Meadows Community College
775-673-8252, dloranz@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: "PHYS 117: Intro to Space Science and Engineering" is a new course at Truckee Meadows Community College developed specifically to engage non-STEM majors in authentic problem solving. In this course, students earn science credits by completing hands-on projects in high-altitude ballooning, lighter-than-air vehicles, rocketry, and robotics. All course projects pose legitimate and unsolved problems that require students to balance multiple competing constraints in the search for optimal solutions. And each project takes students through a complete cycle of i) Design/Build, ii) Deploy/Evaluate, and iii) Reflect/Report.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A08:   

Assessing Learning Beyond Content
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Gina Merys, Creighton University
402-280-3918, gmm89957@creighton.edu
  Co-Author(s): Jay Leighter, Theresa Edmonds, Michael Cherney
  Abstract: Introductory undergraduate education in physics frequently involves large classroom instruction and the assessment of student learning using content- and skill-based tests. This is not the case in certain other disciplines. (It is also not the case in workshop-type courses or in physics research experiences.) The development of an interdisciplinary program in Energy Studies created the need for non-traditional evaluation techniques that could be used in a project-based curriculum. These assessment methods draw on the best practices in English, Communication Studies, Engineering and Physics. The methods developed have applicability to the measurement of life-long learning skills, teamwork skills, and innovation ability as well as for the assessment of content knowledge and problem solving skills.
  Footnotes: This work is supported by the United States Department of Energy. Sponsored by Michael Cherney.
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PST2A09:   

Student Use and Perception of Tablet PCs; Are They Helpful?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Charles A. Parker, Colorado School of Mines
970-689-9015, cparker@mines.edu
  Co-Author(s): Zachary T. Boerner, Vincent H. Kuo, Susan E. Kowalksi, Frank V. Kowalski
  Abstract: Research shows that learning is more effective when students are actively interacting with the professor and each other. To facilitate these interactions, the Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides Tablet PCs to physics students in selected courses each semester. These Tablet PCs are used in conjunction with the InkSurvey tool, which allows for real-time feedback in the classroom. The Tablet PCs also allow for sophisticated student collaboration using notetaking software, providing a means for note sharing. In our poster, we explore how the Tablet PCs have been used in the physics classrooms at CSM and present preliminary data on student perceptions of having the Tablet PCs.
  Footnotes: Sponsor: Vincent H. Kuo
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PST2A10:   

Concept-Mapping Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Andrew Pawl, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
608-342-6160, pawla@uwplatt.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: One reason that introductory mechanics is a required course in many disciplines is that it has a very narrow focus but a very rich conceptual structure. Students of mechanics are expected to see the flexibility that is gained by developing many different descriptions for the same physical process (e.g. the motion of an object under the influence of gravity). Unfortunately, physics education research suggests that most students fail to appreciate this central aspect of the curriculum and instead view kinematics, momentum, and energy as completely separate ideas. Used properly, a concept map can be an ideal means of communicating the structure of physics to students. In this poster, we present a novel approach to designing a concept map for mechanics and indicate how student use of this tool can be tracked and studied.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A11:   

Fostering Computational Thinking: Computer Modeling Homework in Introductory Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Michael F. Schatz, Georgia Institute of Technology
(678) 500-9133, michael.schatz@physics.gatech.edu
  Co-Author(s): Marcos D. Caballero, John B Burk, Matthew A Kohlmyer
  Abstract: Introductory physics courses typically fail to provide students with significant opportunities to use a computer to solve science and engineering problems. We present an overview of recent work to develop laboratory and homework exercises on numerical modeling, simulation, and visualization for students in introductory mechanics in both high school and large enrollment university courses.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2A12:   

Why Should I Learn This? Addressing Student Motivation with Relevant Professional Examples
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Laura Tucker, Harvard University
617-496-2248, ltucker@seas.harvard.edu
  Co-Author(s): Eric Mazur
  Abstract: Student learning hinges on motivation. [1] However, many students don't enter our classrooms knowing why learning physics has value, often asking, "Why should I learn this?" As instructors, we can help our students develop motivation. However, effectively conveying the power of physics principles and thinking is challenging, especially when directed at non-physics majors. Specific examples may not be readily available, and take time to research. Furthermore, testimonies from many individuals working in fields relevant to students can have more power than words from the instructor alone. Addressing this need, we have created a series of slides to be projected before lecture or used as handouts. These materials include profiles of professionals explaining how studying physics has helped them in their diverse careers. We hope to demonstrate relevance beyond the classroom of studying physics by providing answers from many relevant figures to the students? Questions about why learning physics is useful.
  Footnotes: [1] Ambrose, Susan, et. al. (2010). How Learning Works, 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching Sponsor: Eric Mazur
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PST2A13:   

Regularities in Real World Complex Trajectories Using Video Modeling
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Arturo Velasquez, Grupo de Física / Gimnasio La Montaña
6761861, grupofisica@glm.edu.co
  Co-Author(s): Fernando Huertas
  Abstract: Regular high school kinematics courses use rectilinear, projectile, and circular paths to introduce the idea of composite path. However, it is possible to introduce the same notion using real-world trajectories in the classroom: motion of a tennis raquet grip during free fall and motion of selected points on a spinning ballerina are analyzed with video modeling and detailed here.
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Mauricio Mendivelso Villaquirán
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PST2A14:   

Learning from/with Physics 'Sniglets': Classroom Neologisms in College Physics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Richard Zajac, Kansas State University at Salina
785-, rzajac@sal.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The words introductory students want to use don't always exist, but why should that stop them? A look at students' top wish list of useful "physics sniglets" provides some insight into their conceptual development. New contributions are also welcome.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B01:   

Open-source Electronic Education Tools Using Tablet PCs
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Zachary T. Boerner, Colorado School of Mines
(832) 489-2608, q
  Co-Author(s): Charley A. Parker, Vincent H. Kuo, Susan E. Kowalski, Frank V. Kowalski
  Abstract: The Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides and manages a number of electronic education tools available for anyone to access. These include the InkSurvey tool, a wiki for information on the software used by TICC, and a forum for users to discuss Tablet PCs and the classes in which they are enrolled. InkSurvey, in a manner similar to clickers, provides instructors with the means to pose open-format questions. Combined with the use of Tablet PCs, this allows the instructor to perform a real-time formative assessment of students' problem solving abilities. This poster will explore the utility of each of these tools and suggest how institutions outside of the Colorado School of Mines may use them to further their own educational programs.
  Footnotes: Sponsor: Vincent H. Kuo
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PST2B02:   

Item Response Theory Analysis of the Mechanics Baseline Test
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Carolin N. Cardamone, MIT
617-324-2731, cnc@mit.edu
  Co-Author(s): Saif Rayyan, Daniel Seaton, Albert Wu, Dave Pritchard
  Abstract: Item Response Theory (IRT) algorithms are being developed to better assess student performance in our Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics (ILEM; [1]). A student's skill, as determined by IRT, provides more information than the traditional student score because it takes into account universally calibrated problem difficulties. Importantly, it allows determination of skill on a universal scale independent of which questions the student answers. Our approaches seek to dynamically update student and class skill level in ILEM throughout the course based on their performance, rather than relying primarily on the gain from pre/post testing. We present results comparing IRT and pre/post gain analysis of the Mechanics Baseline Inventory Test, including discussion of item parameters for the 26 questions on the MBT exam.
  Footnotes: 1R. Teodorescu, A. Pawl, S. Rayyan, A. Barrantes and D. E. Pritchard, Toward an Integrated Online Environment, 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, edited by S. Rebello, M. Sabella and C. Singh
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PST2B03:   

MAPS: Augmenting Attitudes and Transfer of Problem-solving Skills
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Carolin Cardamone, MIT
617-324-2731, cnc@mit.edu
  Co-Author(s): Analia Barrantes, Andrew Pawl, Saif Rayyan, Dave Pritchard
  Abstract: We present the ongoing implementation and assessment of our Modeling Applied to Problem Solving (MAPS) Pedagogy [1,2]. MAPS helps students develop expert-like problem solving skills. In particular, strategic skill is imparted by specifying the relevant systems and interactions as a guide to selecting the appropriate physical model for solving the problem. After taking a review course in mechanics using the MAPS pedagogy, students show significant improvement in three major categories: 1) problem solving ability measured by a calibrated final exam, 2) attitudes toward science in general (and specifically toward problem solving) measured by the CLASS [3], 3) transfer of problem solving skills to following courses, measured by enhanced exam performance in the subsequent Electricity and Magnetism course. We are expanding the implementation of MAPS in introductory courses inside and outside MIT, and looking for collaborators.
  Footnotes: [1] A. E. Pawl, A. Barrantes and D. E. Pritchard, ?Modeling applied to problem solving? in Proceedings of the 2009 Physics Education Research Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, 2009. [2] S. Rayyan, A. Pawl, , A. Barrantes, R. Teodorescu and D. E. Pritchard, Improved Student Performance in Electricity and Magnetism Following Prior MAPS Instruction in Mechanics, 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, edited by S. Rebello, M. Sabella and C. Singh [3] W. K. Adams, K.K., Perkins, N., Podolefsky, M., Dubson, N., Finkelstein, and C. E. Weiman. A new instrument for measuring student beliefs about physics and learning physics: the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey. Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research 2(1), 010101, 2006.
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PST2B04:   

Learning about Teaching Physics: New Podcast on Education Research Results
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Stephanie V. Chasteen, University of Colorado - Boulder
3037753277, stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Michael Fuchs
  Abstract: Want to get the inside scoop on the latest research on teaching and learning? Curious about physics education research results, but don't have the time to keep up with the journals? Now you can keep up with the literature during your daily commute or trip to the gym with a new audio podcast, "Learning About Teaching Physics." Each short, well-produced podcast pairs education researchers and teachers to talk about an interesting result from the field, such as research on lecture demos, new research on the use of clickers, and whether tests can help students learn. What do these results mean? How does it relate to classroom practices? What challenges might a teacher face in trying to use such an idea? Stop by the poster to learn about the project, talk about the need to communicate between PER and practicing teachings, and to pick up a CD with the podcasts.
  Footnotes: "Learning About Teaching Physics" can be found on Compadre.org and at my blog, http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com.
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PST2B05:   

An Inside Look: Practical Strategies for Personal Response Systems ('clickers')
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Stephanie V. Chasteen, University of Colorado - Boulder
3037753277, stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Katherine K. Perkins, Carl E Wieman
  Abstract: I never would have understood how clickers could be used to transform classroom teaching if I hadn't watched them in the hands of experienced instructors. Not every teacher has that opportunity. This poster will give you an overview of some of the resources we have created on clickers: Get a glimpse inside our classes at the University of Colorado with short videos, grab a copy of our instructor handbook, and come discuss any challenges you've had in implementing this powerful technique. I'll share ideas and strategies for success with clickers, from writing questions to facilitating discussion. In many ways, clickers help us support student achievement of higher order thinking skills, which are the hallmark of deeper learning.
  Footnotes: All clicker videos and resources are at http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu, and the University of Colorado?s clicker question collection is at http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/cts/ . This work was funded by CU?s Science Education Initiative and the National Science Foundation Grant No. 0737118.
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PST2B06:   

Thermo-economics Optimization and Ecological Tax
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Eduardo Chávez Lima
Escuela Superior de Computo - Instituto Politécnico Nacional
57296000 ext. 52027, echavezl@ipn.mx
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Today, thermodynamics allows modeling processes that are innovative, added to this, the development of economic processes allows us to create links to the explanation of formulations in a different social, ethical, and historic context. So the relationship between thermodynamics and economics tries to solve conditions on the border of both sciences, proposing thermo-economics as a new branch of knowledge like econophysics, sociophysics, or quantum computing. In this work, we will determine the economically optimal operating point to models of power plants, using different energy transfer laws, similar to Curzon-Ahlborn, through the study of several operation regimes (optimization criteria) such as maximum power out, maximum ecological function, and maximum efficiency.
  Footnotes: WORK SUPPORTED BY COFAA -IPN
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PST2B07:   

Using Virtual Experiments to Help Student Reasoning in Physics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jiawu Fan, Beijing Normal University
6142922450, wojiaofjw@yahoo.com.cn
  Co-Author(s): Shaona Zhou, Chunhui Du, Jing Han, Lei Bao
  Abstract: We develop a computer virtual reality (VR) platform that supports interactive physics activities. We use the platform to help students conduct guided explorations to learning physics concepts and reasoning. A teaching experiment with two random selected groups of students was conducted. Students were asked to complete a one-hour exploration on one dimensional motion (1D motion) and circular motion. Using a cross-controlled design, we find that students doing virtual experiments outperform their peers doing paper-based problem solving. Show specific cases --One group of students did the 1D motion task in problem solving form and the circular motion task in VR form, and the other group did the 1D motion in VR form and the circular motion in problem solving form. Students in both groups liked the VR form more than problem solving form and perform better in VR form. Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B08:   

Open Source Physics in the Amusement Park
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Michael R. Gallis, Penn State Schuylkill
570-385-6053, mrg3@psu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: There are a variety of tools from the Open Source Physics project appropriate for use in typical amusement park physics activities. The Tracker Video Analysis tool can be used to extract data from video clips that can be taken with almost any modern digital camera. The Easy Java Simulations tool allows users to easily build simulations of varying levels of complexity. This poster presents the use of these tools for "High School Physics Day" activities at local amusement parks and in a special topics course offered to advanced local high school students in a dual enrollment special topics course.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B09:   

Going Beyond End of Chapter Problems in LON-CAPA
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Boris Korsunsky, Weston High School
781-786-5800, korsunskyb@mail.weston.org
  Co-Author(s): Raluca E. Teodorescu, Carolin N Cardamone, Saif Rayyan, David Pritchard
  Abstract: We describe the open-source library of physics problems we are collecting in LON-CAPA (http://loncapa.mit.edu). Currently, the library features both traditional and research-based problems intended to expose students to various contexts, problem features, knowledge and cognitive processes. We are adding conceptual questions and challenge problems that require out of the box thinking. The conceptual questions are developed at Ohio State University and MIT. The challenge problems are inspired by various tasks published in The Physics Teacher [1-3]. We are planning to evaluate the difficulty and pedagogical effectiveness of those problems using Item Response Theory (IRT). This permits determination of a student's skill independent of which problems they do. We welcome collaborators willing to add their problems to our library.
  Footnotes: [1] Korsunsky, B. (2004) Ready, SET, Go! A research-based approach to problem solving. The Physics Teacher, 42, 493-497. [2] Korsunsky, B. (2001-present) Physics Challenges for Teachers and Students (a monthly column). The Physics Teacher. The library of past Challenges is online at http://tpt.aapt.org/features/physics_challenge_solutions [3] Korsunsky, B. (1995). Braintwisters for physics students. The Physics Teacher, 33, 550-553.
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PST2B10:   

Harnessing Technology to Help Students Learn
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Taha Mzoughi, Kennesaw State University
6787972152, tmzoughi@kennesaw.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: In an attempt to improve student learning in introductory physics courses, we have used active learning methods focused on the use of technology. The courses follow a hybrid format where most of the learning occurs outside of class. Lecture time is used to answer and discuss questions and to explore the topics students find interesting. The technologies used include computer-mediated and hands-on activities. Instead of lectures, students complete online multimedia quizzes, embedding both lecture type recording segments and simulations. The quiz is intended to help students focus on the intricacies of the topic covered. Homework is also completed online. It includes both traditional end of the chapter questions and simulation mediated questions. Hands-on laboratory activities are preceded by pre-laboratory simulation-mediated activities. We will describe the methods used and preliminary results on the effectiveness of the approach.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B11:   

PhET: An Expanding Resource of Free Online Interactive Simulations
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Noah Podolefsky, University of Colorado at Boulder
303-641-8217, Noah.Podolefsky@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Noah S. Podolefsky, Katherine K Perkins, PhET Team
  Abstract: The PhET Interactive Simulations project is expanding in new directions. We are building new connections to our teacher-user community -- get the latest news by following our new blog, joining us on Facebook, or receiving Twitter updates. We're also making sims for middle school science -- adapting existing sims, creating new ones, and partnering with teachers to investigate their use in classrooms. We now have more than 100 simulations of physical phenomena that create animated, interactive, game-like environments in which students learn through scientist-like exploration. Our simulations emphasize the connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, make the invisible visible, and include the visual models used by expert scientists. New sims include: Gravity and Orbits, Capacitor Lab, Density, Buoyancy, Bending Light, Fluid Pressure and Flow, and Resonance Lab, along with a growing collection of chemistry simulations. Visit http://phet.colorado.edu.
  Footnotes: The PhET Project is funded by the Hewlett Foundation, NSF CCLI Grant #0817582, NSF DRK12 Grant #1020362, the O?Donnell Foundation, JILA, and University of Colorado at Boulder.
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PST2B12:   

Teaching Physics Across Grades with Sustainable Energies via Digital Technologies
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: David Rosengrant, Kennesaw State University
678 797 2482, drosengr@kennesaw.edu
  Co-Author(s): Matthew Laposata
  Abstract: Many college and high school students do not understand the basic physics behind sustainable energies. As a result of this, students have erroneous beliefs about sustainable energies. Thus, the "Sustainable Homes: Building 'Smarter' Houses Today for a Better Tomorrow" project aims to combine physics with environmental science so that students can better understand both sciences. We have updated our website (http://ihome21.kennesaw.edu/) with new activities and videos in the past year. Through these exercises, students will: see detailed descriptions of sustainable housing technologies and how they differ from conventional systems; use data from actual sustainable homes, including the "Weatherford Place" development in Roswell, GA, to critically analyze the performance of these technologies; and conduct hands-on activities that demonstrate how these sustainable technologies operate on a smaller scale. We also report on how teachers in our professional development sessions have utilized these resources.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B13:   

First Assessment of the Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Raluca E. Teodorescu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
617-253-5729, rteodore@mit.edu
  Co-Author(s): Analia Barrantes, Sara Julin, Saif Rayyan, David Pritchard
  Abstract: We present the first evaluation of our open-source Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics (ILEM) [1] - http://loncapa.mit.edu. The centerpiece of this environment is a collection of multi-level research-based homework sets organized by topic and cognitive complexity, whose design helps students learn physics problem solving. These sets are associated with learning modules that contain short expositions of the content supplemented by integrated open-access videos, worked examples, simulations, and tutorials. In our evaluation of homework problems, we analyze student attempts, preferences and performance on different types of problems (e.g. representation, ranking and strategy writing problems). In our evaluation of content, we analyze observations generated by student comments in the discussion boards and during critical thinking activities. We continue to expand and improve the content and we welcome users and collaborators.
  Footnotes: [1] R. Teodorescu, A. Pawl, S. Rayyan, A. Barrantes and D. E. Pritchard, Toward an Integrated Online Environment, 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, edited by S. Rebello, M. Sabella and C. Singh
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PST2B14:   

A Meteorological Network Using Open-source Hardware and Software
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Sergio Trujillo, Grupo de Física / Gimnasio La Montaña
6761861, grupofisica@glm.edu.co
  Co-Author(s): Juan P. Villamil, Simon Vargas, Juan F Ceron, Fabian Martinez
  Abstract: We design a weather monitoring network in Bogotá, Colombia, using semiconductor devices, Arduino platform, and plotting software developed with open source software processing. Using some open license schematics, teams of high school physics teachers and students build Arduino-based interfaces and plotting/data storage software to install and set up meteorological stations at several schools along the city. We obtain temperature, wind velocity, humidity, barometric pressure and precipitation vs. time plots over variable time intervals to study weather behavior in our city.
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Mauricio Mendivelso Villaquirán
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PST2B15:   

Ready for Classroom Use? Assessment of the Andes Homework System
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Brett van de Sande, Arizona State University, CIDSE
4809657455, bvds@asu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The Andes intelligent tutor homework system has been used in the classroom at the U.S. Naval Academy and elsewhere since 2000. It now contains more than 500 problems covering most of the topics in a standard introductory physics course. During the last few years, we have developed a new version of Andes that runs in a web browser. We describe new data-mining techniques for automatically detecting, and correcting, errors and weakness in the tutor system. Also, we present evidence from both laboratory and classroom studies that new web-based Andes is ready for classroom use.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B16:   

The Studies in Motion Videodisc: New Uses for Old Media
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Christopher D. Wentworth, Doane College
402-826-8257, chris.wentworth@doane.edu
  Co-Author(s): Amy E. Craig, Robert G. Fuller
  Abstract: "The Studies in Motion" videodisc was an early example of interactive multimedia produced by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Annenberg School of Communications for educational use in an introductory college lab setting. While videodisc technology is obsolete, the media produced for this videodisc remains a rich source of material for introductory physics students to explore and analyze. We present several examples of using digitized clips from the original videodisc for introductory physics activities using modern digital video analysis software such VideoPoint and Tracker. All of the original video media and suggested activities are available on the web at the Humanized Physics Project website*.
  Footnotes: * http://physics.doane.edu/hpp/Resources/SIMLD/SIMLDHome.htm.
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PST2B17:   

Electricity and Magnetism Self-Testing and Test Construction Tool
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: John C. Stewart, University of Arkansas
479-445-2522, johns@uark.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: This poster presents an online resource for teaching and evaluating introductory electricity and magnetism classes. The resource contains a library of highly characterized, multiple-choice, conceptual, and quantitative electricity and magnetism problems and solutions all linked to a free online textbook. The library contains over 1000 classroom tested problems. Each problem is characterized by the complexity of its solution and by the fundamental intellectual steps found in the solution. Exam construction, administration, and analysis tools are provided through the resource's website. Problems may be downloaded for use in exams or as clicker questions. A self-testing tool is provided for students or instructors, an excellent tool for brushing up on conceptual electricity and magnetism. Conceptual inventory scores produced by the site are normed against the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism. There is no cost associated with using any of the facilities of the site and you can begin to use the site immediately. Supported by NSF - DUE 0535928. Site address http://physinfo.uark.edu/physicsonline.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2B18:   

Attitude Effects through Procedural Videos in Introductory Mechanics Lab Sessions
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Monica Quezada, University of juarez
(915) 422 3294, seflores@uacj.mx
  Co-Author(s): Sergio Flores, Oscar Ruiz, Juan Luna, Jose Valente Barron
  Abstract: Many introductory physics students have problems understanding when they try to learn physics concepts through the knowledge real representation during lab sessions. The research group named Physics and Mathematics in Context from the University of Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico, has developed an instructional approach based on videos to help students to recognize and learn the properties of concepts as forces, Newton's second law, and tension force. These videos are projected during the lab sessions to allow a direct interaction between the object knowledge (physical concepts) and the knowledge subject (the students). These videos show the materials, instruments, procedures, and the corresponding description of the cognitive and physical abilities students demand to develop the labs successfully. This didactic design is based on the theories of mathematical representations and visualization. We will show and describe samples of these videos and their students' attitude effects.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C01:   

Influence of Sequencing Individual and Group Activities on Student Learning
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Bijaya Aryal, University of Minnesota-Rochester
5072588216, baryal@umn.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Previous research findings have documented the positive impact of group interaction on student learning. Much of the previous work has focused on the use of group activities and assignments. However, it is equally important for students to develop the skills to make decisions individually, which suggests the necessity of individual activities and assignments in the learning space. I have integrated individual and group learning activities in the design of a three-stage learning sequence. The learning sequence involves two individual assignments and one group assignment. As a part of the assessment of this instructional strategy, the correlation between the sequence of the individual and group assignments and enhanced student learning will be evaluated. This presentation describes the learning activity sequence with some examples. In addition, preliminary results of the effects of variations in the sequence of group and individual activities on student learning is presented.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C02:   

Student Reasoning about Graphical Representations of Definite Integrals
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Rabindra R. Bajracharya
Physics Department, University of Maine
2076029860, ab_study@yahoo.com
  Co-Author(s): John R. Thompson, Thomas Thomas Wemyss
  Abstract: Physics students are expected to apply the mathematics learned in their mathematics courses to physics concepts and problems. Few PER studies have distinguished between difficulties students have with physics concepts and those they have with mathematics concepts, application of those concepts, or the representations used to connect the math and the physics. We are conducting empirical studies of student responses to mathematics questions dealing with graphical representations of (single-variable) integration. Reasoning in written responses could be put into roughly three major categories related to particular features of the graphs: area under the curve, position of the function, and shape of the curve. In subsequent individual interviews, we varied representational features to explore the depth and breadth of the contextual nature of student reasoning, with an emphasis on negative integrals. Results suggest an incomplete understanding of the criteria that determine the sign of a definite integral.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C03:   

Assessing Student Affect in Learning Computation in Introductory Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Marcos D. Caballero, Georgia Institute of Technology
770-827-3185, caballero@gatech.edu
  Co-Author(s): Matthew A. Kohlmyer, Michael F Schatz
  Abstract: An introductory physics course at Georgia Tech requires students to learn numerical computation for describing physical phenomenon that are not amenable to being solved using analytic methods. Students' motivation to learn computation and anxiety about solving computational exercises varies greatly. The attitudes, interests, and values that students exhibit when learning a subject can play a role in their motivation to and anxiety about learning the subject. We present a brief overview of the development of a new tool, the Computation Modeling in Physics Attitudinal Student Survey (COMPASS), aimed at helping to characterize students' attitudes about, interests in, and values concerning computation, as well as preliminary measurements derived from this instrument.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C04:   

Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Rationale and Methodology
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: William Mamudi, Western Michigan University
2692670712 , william.o.mamudi@wmich.edu
  Co-Author(s): Charles Henderson, Shih-Yin Lin, Chandralekha Singh, Edit Yerushalmi
  Abstract: As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TAs) perceive features of written problem solutions. TAs are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. This talk will focus on the methodology used to study TAs enrolled in a training course. Data were collected via a series of tasks related to concrete instructional artifacts (solutions to the same physics problem that vary in their representation of expert problem solving as well as in their instructional approach). Important aspects of the design were a) using artifacts from a previous study of faculty to allow for comparison of results, b) developing a written questionnaire that requires respondents to explicitly connect problem features with preferences and reasons, and c) documenting respondent ideas both pre- and post-discussion within their training course.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C05:   

An Optics Concepts Test
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Alex Chediak, California Baptist University
951-343-4912, achediak@calbaptist.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: A series of conceptual tests exist that allow educators to compare their normalized gains to those of other educators, and together determine best practices (e.g., FCI, MBT, FMCE, ECCE, CSEM, and DIRECT). But a standard conceptual test for optics is a seeming omission in the PER literature--this in spite of the common observation, by physics educator and students alike, that optics is perhaps one of the most conceptually challenging areas of undergraduate physics. The math is often simple (a few equations, no vector algebra), but the concepts easy to confuse. This poster presents a multi-choice question optics conceptual test, consisting of 20 questions, each having five choices. Topics covered include reflection, refraction, mirrors, lenses, interference, cameras, human eye maladies, and optical corrections. I seek partners to join me in using these questions on pre- and post-tests with their students.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C06:   

Concentration Analysis and Item Response Theory
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Li Chen
School of Electronic science and engeering, Southeast University
614-292-2450, chenli.seu@163.com
  Co-Author(s): Jing Han, Chunhui Du, Yan Tu, Lei Bao
  Abstract: Both Concentration Analysis and Item Response Theory (IRT) are useful tools in education assessment. In concentration analysis, the concentration factor gives a scaled value describing how students' answers to individual questions are concentrated. Perfectly concentrated responses will produce a concentration value of 1 while random responses will produce 0. In IRT, an estimated parameter, the guessing parameter, also describes the chance of guessing in response to a question. Then it is meaningful to find out if these two factors are related. Based on the college students' FCI data collected at The Ohio State University, the concentration factor and guessing parameters for all 30 FCI questions are calculated. The results show a weak correlation between these two measures (Sig.=0.222). After comparing the algorithms, we find that concentration factor focus on all of the choices, while in IRT only the binary score (right or wrong) are used. The implications of the differences will be discussed with suggestions on revisions of the algorithms.
  Footnotes: Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
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PST2C07:   

Evaluation of Student Exam Note Sheets in Introductory General Physics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Fredrick M. DeArmond, Portland State University
260.385.6661, fmd@pdx.edu
  Co-Author(s): Chris Sheaffer, Ralf Widenhorn
  Abstract: An ongoing study is being performed involving the collection and evaluation of note sheets prepared by students for use on exams in a first-year algebra-based physics courses of 120-200 students. The note sheets are evaluated based on organization, quantity, the use of examples and diagrams, and the number of topics covered. In addition, a Likert scale survey was given to students regarding how they generated and used their note sheets. Preliminary results are presented and suggest negative correlations between exam grades and the quantity of equations on note sheets, and those who most strongly agreed with the statement "I referred to my note sheet many times during the exam." Positive correlations are found between exam grades and organization, and students who most strongly agreed with the statement "making my note sheet helped me review for the exam."
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C08:   

Teaching Assistant and Student Interactions in a SCALE-UP Classroom
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: George DeBeck V, Oregon State University
9522709374, debeckg@onid.orst.edu
  Co-Author(s): Dedra Demaree
  Abstract: In the spring term of 2010, Oregon State University began using a SCALE-UP-style classroom in the instruction of the introductory calculus-based physics series. Instruction in this classroom was conducted in three two-hour sessions facilitated by the primary professor and either two graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) or a graduate teaching assistant and an undergraduate learning assistant (LA). During the course of instruction, two of the eight tables in the room were audio and video recorded. We examine the practices of the GTAs and LAs in interacting with the students through both qualitative and quantitative analyses of these recordings. In particular, we examine changes in the practices of the GTAs and LAs as they gain experience in the SCALE-UP environment, as well as differences between the practices of the individual GTAs and Las.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C09:   

Rasch Model Analysis of a Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA)
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Lin Ding
School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
614-688-8377, ding.65@osu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The Brief Electricity & Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) is a 30-item multiple-choice test, designed to measure student understanding of basic electricity and magnetism (E&M) concepts at the introductory physics level. It differs from concept inventories, such as the FCI, in that it covers a broad spectrum of sub-topics in a specific knowledge domain. A great deal of research previously has been conducted to evaluate its validity and reliability, as well as to apply it for gauging student performance. These efforts all utilized the Classical Test Theory (CTT) for analyzing quantitative information extracted from a large collection of data. In the present study we used the Rasch model, an item response-based theory (IRT), to analyze BEMA. Specifically, we investigated the extent to which the BEMA items can measure a single underlying construct--students' understanding of E&M. We also attempted to seek multiple latent constructs in BEMA for comparison with the single-construct case.
  Footnotes: * This project is partially supported by the OSU EHE SEED grant.
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PST2C10:   

Solving Synthesis Problems through Analogical Encoding
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Lin Ding
School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
614-688-8377, ding.65@osu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Andrew F. Heckler, Cameron M. Teichgraeber
  Abstract: Real-world physics problems often require a solver to apply several concepts jointly to reach a coherent solution. In an effort to enhance students' problem solving abilities, we developed and used synthesis problems, which combine multiple topics that are taught at sufficiently different time points in the introductory physics course or beyond, to help students with recognition, coordination, and integration of fundamental physics concepts. To further provide appropriate scaffolding, we employed the analogical encoding approach by presenting to and asking students to compare two examples of similar underlying structure yet differing surface features prior to their solving a target problem. We investigated the effects of analogical encoding on students' solving physics synthesis problems through three training conditions: example problems with comparison, examples without comparison, and no examples. All students solved the same target synthesis problem at the end of training. Preliminary results show an advantage for analogical encoding.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C11:   

Towards a Better Understanding of Confusion
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jason E. Dowd, Harvard University
7733830088, jedowd.work@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Ives S. Araujo, Eric Mazur
  Abstract: Physics instructors typically try to avoid confusing their students. However, the truism underlying this approach, "confusion is bad," has been challenged by educators dating as far back as Socrates, who asked students to question assumptions and wrestle with ideas. This begs the question: Are confused students lost, or does their confusion indicate more critical thinking than less-confused learners? In previous work, we focused on a single reading assignment, a snapshot. Insights from this work allowed us to refine and expand our study to more than 40 snapshots that span two semesters of introductory physics, which involved Just-in-Time Teaching and research-based reading materials. We evaluated performance on assignments while simultaneously asking students to self-assess their confusion over the material, and then probed whether "confused" students were correct more or less frequently than "not-confused" students. We highlight our results and draw some conclusions about confusion. Is it really as bad as it seems?
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C12:   

E-Games and Graph Problems: Helping Students Play the Game
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Elizabeth Gire, University of Memphis
785-323-7005, egire@memphis.edu
  Co-Author(s): Dong-Hai Nguyen, N. Sanjay Rebello
  Abstract: An epistemic game is a structured activity used to guide inquiry or solve a problem. For example, list making is an epistemic game one might use to identify and organize items needed for making a meal. Physicists often (implicitly) use a graphical analysis epistemic game to analyze data or to solve problems involving graphs. In analyzing a set of interviews with introductory physics students, we use the framework epistemic games to characterize students' abilities to solve graph problems and how a tutor helps these students become more competent players of this e-game.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C13:   

Case Studies of Increasing Participation in a Physics Learning Community
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Renee Michelle Goertzen, Florida International University
2408210456, rgoertze@fiu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Eric Brewe, Laird Kramer
  Abstract: We present a case study of two introductory undergraduate physics students' increasing participation in the physics learning community at Florida International University (FIU). An implicit goal in the reforms implement by the Physics Education Research Group at FIU has been the establishment of multiple opportunities for entry into and participation in a community of physics learners. These opportunities include classes using research-based curricula (Modeling Instruction and Investigative Science Learning Environment), a Learning Assistant program, and a growing cohort of physics majors. Using interviews conducted across a year of introductory physics, we explore the trajectories of two students who have successfully increased their participation in a physics learning community.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C14:   

Enhancing Student Interest through Increased Autonomy in the Physics Classroom
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Nicholas R. Hall, University of California, Davis
(530) 304-2822, nrhall@ucdavis.edu
  Co-Author(s): David Webb
  Abstract: We perform an experiment involving 300 students in an active-learning introductory physics course for biological science undergraduates at the University of California, Davis. The students are divided into 10 discussion/labs (DLs) that meet for 140 minutes twice a week and are taught by five teaching assistants (TAs). Five DLs are "autonomy-supportive" in that during the second half of each class the students choose how to apply, expound on, or clarify what they have learned. We compare this experimental group to a control group of five "traditional" active-engagement DLs. Each TA teaches one autonomy-supportive and one traditional DL. We hypothesize that increased autonomy-support will help improve attitudes, increase interest, and enhance performance. We measure these effects with grades and specially designed surveys. This study could have important implications for introductory physics class design by testing whether the positive effects of increased student autonomy in class outweigh the benefits of the alternatives.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C15:   

Probing Student Understanding with Alternative Questioning Strategies
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jeffrey M. Hawkins, The University of Maine
2075706067, jeffrey.hawkins@maine.edu
  Co-Author(s): Brian W. Frank, Michael C Wittmann, John R Thompson, Thomas M Wemyss
  Abstract: Common research methodology uses research tasks that ask students to identify a correct answer and justify their answer choice. We propose expanding the array of research tasks to access different knowledge that students might have. By asking students to discuss answers they may not have chosen naturally, we can investigate students' abilities to explain something that is already established or to disprove an incorrect response. The results of these research tasks also provide us with information about how students' responses vary across the different tasks. We discuss three underused question types and their possible benefits. Additionally, we present results from data gathered using these question types and contrast these with results gathered using a traditional question.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C16:   

Increasing the Impact of PER: Recommendations from Typical Faculty
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
2693874951, charles.henderson@wmich.edu
  Co-Author(s): Melissa H. Dancy, Chandra Turpen
  Abstract: In previous work [1,2], we found that most physics faculty in the United States are familiar with and value instructional strategies based on Physics Education Research (PER). Yet, we also found that use of these strategies lags considerably behind knowledge. We have attempted to understand this gap between knowledge and use from several perspectives. In this poster we will explore this issue from the perspective of typical faculty. As part of a larger study, we conducted telephone interviews with 70 physics faculty who indicated that they had some exposure to PER. Based on these conversations, we describe the actions faculty recommended that the PER community might take in order to have more of an impact on the teaching practices of typical faculty.
  Footnotes: Supported, in part, by NSF Award No. 0715698. 1. Henderson, C. & Dancy, M. (2009) The Impact of Physics Education Research on the Teaching of Introductory Quantitative Physics in the United States, Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research, 5 (2), 020107. 2. Dancy, M. & Henderson, C. (2010) Pedagogical Practices and Instructional Change of Physics Faculty, American Journal of Physics, Physics, 78 (10), 1056-1063.
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PST2C17:   

Influence of Prior Preparation on Students' Use of Online Hints
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Dehui Hu, Kansas State University
7855321612, dehuihu@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Joshua Von Korff, N. Sanjay Rebello
  Abstract: How do students combine their existing resources and invent new strategies when facing a challenging physics problem? In our study, we examine student use of resources and transfer of problem-solving skills in the context of differentiation and integration. Physics problems that use integration and differentiation require students to coordinate their understanding of mathematics as well as physics concepts, procedures, and representations. After a 50-minute tutorial session, students work through a challenging physics problem over a 30-minute testing period. By using an online environment to control and monitor their progress through a series of hints, we assess their use of resources and the impact of hints and previous learning. We also compare students' performance under different preparations by giving different tutorial materials prior to the testing period.
  Footnotes: This work is supported in part by U.S. National Science Foundation grant 0816207.
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PST2C19:   

Students' Response Characteristics on Sequences of Phenomenological Demonstration in Electric Connections of Light Bulbs
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Myung Su Hwang, Korea National University of Education
010-2564-1133, fox1120@hanmail.net
  Co-Author(s): Jae Sool Kwon, Jung Bog Kim
  Abstract: We found an effective sequence of phenomenological demonstration by analyzing the levels of cognitive conflict and the types of student's response according to presenting orders of series and parallel connection of electric light bulbs. Parallel connection ahead caused a higher score in cognitive conflict than series connection ahead. Also, we found that earlier representation of questions different from students' predictions is more efficient for causing cognitive conflict than earlier representation of predictable questions. Students solving questions about series circuit first and then parallel circuit recognized the difference of connections more easily compared to the opposite sequence. However, students experiencing the parallel connection first tried to find out more the scientific reasons in mixed connection questions. Presenting a parallel circuit before series circuit turned out to be more effective for strategy for higher cognitive conflict.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C20:   

Johnson-Laird Cognitive Framework: Its Application During Problem Solving
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Bashirah Ibrahim, Kansas State University
(785)3237794, bibrahim@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): N. Sanjay Rebello
  Abstract: The study explores the categories of cognitive structures constructed by engineering students taking a calculus-based physics course at Kansas State University. A sample of 19 students completed 10 non-directed tasks, with different representational format, on the topics of kinematics and work. Individual interviews were conducted immediately following these tasks. The Johnson-Laird (1983) cognitive framework was applied to classify the participants' mental representations. The framework proposes three main types of internal constructs: propositional representations constituting syntactic structures that connect a series of symbols together, mental models that are analogical representations of a real-world situation or objects, and mental images that are internal views of mental models with greater visual spatial features. We will discuss the importance of this framework in the classification of students' mental representations in this study.
  Footnotes: Supported in part by NSF grant 0816207.
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PST2C21:   

Online Pre- and Post-Diagnostic Testing Across Multiple Classes
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Stephen H. Irons, Yale University
203-432-3664, stephen.irons@yale.edu
  Co-Author(s): C. Meg Urry
  Abstract: Over the last several years we have instituted diagnostic pre- and post-testing in our three primary introductory physics classes (life sciences, engineering, physics majors). For the fall semester we developed and used a conceptual test that is broader than the standard FCI. This decision was based on our discovery that FCI scores for the tested cohort were quite high, leaving little room to measure improvement. For the spring semester we administered the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) in its unaltered form. Our data reveal that students as a whole self-select fairly reliably in terms of which introductory course is best for them. In addition, we found teaching methods that involve interactive engagement led to larger normalized gains than using standard instructional techniques. We will also describe our experience in administering these tests in an online form and discuss the possible effect this had on our results.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C22:   

Nonscience Majors' Thinking about Ionizing Radiation
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Andy Johnson, Black Hills State University
605-645-3332, andy.johnson@bhsu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Anna Hafele
  Abstract: We have been developing materials to teach nonscience majors about ionizing radiation in a science literacy course. The Radiation by Inquiry Project (DUE 0942699) is uncovering problematic learned and spontaneous ideas about radiation, atoms, radioactivity, and the interaction of radiation with matter. This poster identifies some of the common ideas, our tools and strategies for getting students beyond them, and provides evidence of substantial learning. Http://www.camse.org/andy/radiation
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C23:   

Case Study of Student Pairs Working on Electronics Capstone Projects
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Nasser M. Juma, Kansas State University
785-532-1612, mhuninas@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): N. Sanjay Rebello, Kristan L. Corwin, Brian R. Washburn
  Abstract: We observed three pairs of students, each considered to be a different case, as they worked on lab experiments in an upper-division electronics and instrumentation laboratory course. In the first half of the course, the students learned about various analog and digital electronic components through mini-lectures and lab activities building electronic circuits. In the second half of the course each pair worked on a different open-ended capstone project that required them to use their knowledge of electronics to improve the measurements done on a physics experiment they have worked on in a previous semester. The student pairs brainstormed ideas to improve the measurement design and built circuitry to implement their design. Our data sources included observations of groups work, interviews with instructors and students, as well as artifacts produced by the students. We present the results of our case study focusing on comparisons between the student pairs.
  Footnotes: This work is supported in part by NSF grant DUE-0736897.
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PST2C24:   

Students Reconciling Contradictory Commitments in Damped Harmonic Motion Problems
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Adam Kaczynski, The University of Maine
906-553-4232, A.Kaczynski@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Michael C. Wittmann
  Abstract: In intermediate and advanced physics courses, students are expected to use mathematical, graphical, and physical reasoning, as well as their intuitions. These intuitions may contradict each other and can be inconsistent with ideas developed during small group learning activities. On the topic of damped harmonic motion, students have intuitions about the mathematics, the physics, and the way the graph of the motion should look. Students remain committed to some of these intuitions to the point of not using provided instructional resources. They also deal with contradictions when their commitments to one kind of reasoning conflict with their commitments to another (e.g., the analysis of a mathematical derivation conflicts with that of a free-body diagram summarizing physical reasoning). These multiple commitments have an effect on students' classroom discussion and the way that students reconcile contradictory commitments and conclusions.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C25:   

Gender Differences in Psychological Factors and Interventions to Address Them
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Lauren E. Kost-Smith, University of Colorado at Boulder
630-212-1864, Lauren.Kost@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Steven J. Pollock, Noah D. Finkelstein
  Abstract: Despite males and females being equally represented at the college level in several STEM disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics), females continue to be under-represented in physics. Our research attempts to understand and address this gender gap by focusing on introductory physics courses. We characterize gender differences in performance, psychological factors, and retention that exist in Physics 1 and 2 [1,2]. We find gender differences in performance can largely be accounted for by differences in the physics and mathematics backgrounds and incoming attitudes and beliefs of males and females. But these background factors do not completely account for the gender gaps. We hypothesize, based on gender differences in self-efficacy, that identity threat is playing a role in our courses. Working with researchers in psychology, we implemented an identity threat intervention in three offerings of Physics 1 [3]. We report on the effectiveness of the intervention to alleviate gender gaps in performance.
  Footnotes: [1] L. E. Kost, S. J. Pollock & N. D. Finkelstein, PRST-PER, 5, 010101. [2] L. E. Kost-Smith, S. J. Pollock & N. D. Finkelstein, PRST-PER, 6, 020112. [3] A. Miyake, et al., Science, 330, 1234.
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PST2C26:   

Mentoring Undergraduate Physics Majors at a Hispanic Serving Institution
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Laird H. Kramer, Florida International University
3053486073, Laird.Kramer@fiu.edu
  Co-Author(s): David Jones, Eric Brewe
  Abstract: We present an overview of the undergraduate physics learning community at Florida International University. The number of intended and declared physics majors at FIU has increased by 1500%, when comparing three-year averages to the early 1990s. This is most compelling as FIU is a minority-serving urban public research institution in Miami, serving more than 42,000 students, of which 60% are Hispanic, 12% are Black, and 56% are women. We attribute this dramatic growth to a number of factors, including strategic mentoring activities integrated into our programs. This poster will highlight the mentoring activities within FIU's Physics Department, how those strategies integrate into other research-based approaches, and how multiple faculty have developed into effective student mentors.
  Footnotes: Supported by NSF Award # PHY-0802184.
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PST2C27:   

Self-Reported In-Class Emotional Responses: A Trial Run
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: W. Brian Lane, Jacksonville University
904-256-7326, wlane@ju.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: It is important for physics teachers to understand the impact of students' emotional responses to class discussions and activities. In an upper-level electromagnetic theory course, we asked students to report their emotional states in class using flashcards and clickers, with each card or button corresponding to one of the emotions most commonly experienced while learning physics (curiosity, frustration, happiness, anxiety, boredom, and confusion), and based the flow of class discussion on these responses. The students responded very positively to this teaching strategy, indicating that their learning experience was enhanced and that they perceived a great level of support from the instructor. In this poster presentation, we describe the outcomes of this teaching strategy, outline the lessons learned for future refinement, and propose an implementation in multiple introductory physics courses with the goal of comparing students' in-class emotional states with their learning gains and learning attitude shifts.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C28:   

Successes and Constraints in Enactment of One Relatively Successful Reform
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: May Lee, University of Colorado - Boulder
2197944559, may.lee@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Melissa Dancy, Charles Henderson, Eric Brewe
  Abstract: Although nearly two decades of research documents the potential positive impact of research-based reforms on conceptual understanding, the American Institute of Physics found that less than 30% of high school physics teachers in the U.S. enact reforms in their classrooms. One of the more successfully disseminated reforms is Modeling Instruction. Students taught by expert modeling teachers have gains on the Force Concept Inventory that are at least 30% greater than the students taught through traditional instruction. Our primary research question is "Why has this reform been relatively successful?" We interviewed five people who played critical roles in the development of Modeling Instruction. In this poster, we discuss significant aspects of the reform that led to its successes and constraints as identified in the interviews.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C29:   

Investigating Students' Understanding of Magnetism
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jing Li, University of Pittsburgh
412-526-8896, fairylee86@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh
  Abstract: We are investigating the difficulties that students have in learning about magnetism. A 30 item research-based survey was developed. During the development of the survey, we administered free-response questions to a large number of students in the classroom and interviewed a subset of students individually. We will discuss the reliability and validity issues and present our findings about difficulties with magnetism concepts after traditional instruction.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C30:   

Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Findings
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: ShihYin Lin, University of Pittsburgh
4127080116, hellosilpn@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh, William Mamudi, Charles Henderson, Edit Yerushalmi
  Abstract: As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TAs) perceive features of written problem solutions. TAs are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. Twenty-four first-year graduate TAs enrolled in a training course were provided with different instructor solutions for the same physics problem and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. Preliminary findings reveal that providing a schematic visualization of the problem, listing knowns/unknowns and explaining reasoning in explicit words were the most valued features. Preferences for different features were sometimes in conflict with each other. For example, while the TAs valued solutions where reasoning was explicitly explained, they also valued concise solutions. We'll present the reasons behind these preferences and discuss the implications for the professional developments of physics Tas.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C31:   

Physical and Virtual Manipulatives' Effect on Students' Models of Pulleys
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Adrian M. Madsen, Kansas State University
7855321612, adrianc@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Amy Rouinfar, Tram Do Ngoc Hoang, N. Sanjay Rebello
  Abstract: Several studies have investigated differences in students' learning with physical and virtual manipulatives. However, not as many studies have looked into the process by which any differences in learning occur. In this study, we look closely at the process of conceptual change as students interact with either physical or virtual pulley systems. Students in five conceptual physics laboratory classes investigated various pulleys systems over two consecutive laboratory classes, each nearly two hours long. Half of the students in each class learned with a computer simulation while the other half used actual pulleys, strings, and weights. All students were given identical instructions that prompted them to construct their own understanding of pulley systems by comparing and testing different systems. We report on how students' ideas about pulleys changed as they progressed through the activities and compare learning with physical and virtual manipulatives.
  Footnotes: This work is supported in part by U.S. Dept. of Education IES grant award R305A080507
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PST2C32:   

Effectiveness of Prescribed Prompts at Priming Sensemaking During Group Problem-Solving
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Mathew A. Martinuk, University of British Columbia
7788366366, martinuk@physics.ubc.ca
  Co-Author(s): Joss Ives
  Abstract: Many researchers and textbooks have promoted the use of rigid prescribed strategies for encouraging development of expert-like problem-solving behavior in novice students. The UBC Physics 100 course has been using Context-Rich problems with a prescribed five-step strategy since 2007. We have been analyzing audio recordings of students during group problem-solving sessions to analyze students' epistemological framing based on the implicit goal of their discussions. By treating the goal of "understanding the physics situation" as "sensemaking," we analyze the effectiveness of structured prompts intended to promote a shift to a sensemaking discussion. This poster will describe the setting, research methods, and results.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C33:   

Do Students Reason Better in Interactive Courses?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Mojgan Matloob Haghanikar, Kansas State University
7855327167, mojgan@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Sytil Murphy, Dean Zollman
  Abstract: As part of a study on the science preparation of elementary school teachers, we compared students' reasoning skills in courses with inquiry-oriented teaching strategies and their counterparts in traditional courses. We devised content questions that are open-ended and probed students' ability of applying recently learned concepts in a new context. Inspired by Bloom's revised taxonomy [1], we designed a rubric to analytically examine students' responses. Our rubric describes seven traits that we consider as the evidence of understanding for which we defined three levels of accomplishment. In this paper we present our analysis of five inquiry-oriented and traditional pairs of classes from five different universities. The classes came from a variety of disciplines. We will also investigate if the differences between the classes are statistically significant. Supported by National Science Foundation grant ESI-055 4594
  Footnotes: L.W. Anderson & D.R. Krathwohl, A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman (2001)
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PST2C34:   

The PER User's Guide: A New Web Resource for Consumers of Physics Education Research
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Sarah B. McKagan, AAPT
2063354325, sam.mckagan@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The PER User's Guide is a web resource to help physics educators learn about the results of physics education research (PER) and apply those results in their classroom. We are launching a pilot site this year with guides to a small selection of research-based teaching methods. We plan to extend this site to become a comprehensive guide to all aspects of PER that are relevant to educators. This will help educators by summarizing, condensing, and translating the vast web of knowledge contained in the field of PER into a format that is easily accessible, enabling educators to quickly find and use the information they need. The PER User's Guide design is based on user testing and research into faculty adoption and adaption of research-based teaching methods.
  Footnotes: The PER User?s Guide is a collection hosted on compadre.org and is supported by NSF NSDL 0840853.
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PST2C35:   

Examining Correlations Between Lecture Conceptual Question Responses and Course Performance
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jeffrey T. Morgan, University of Northern Iowa
319-273-2290, jeff.morgan@uni.edu
  Co-Author(s): Cynthia Wakefield
  Abstract: We have implemented peer instruction in an introductory level conceptual physics course for non-science majors, based on the success that others report with this method.(1) We expected to see that learning from peer conversation, as evidenced by answering conceptual questions correctly following discussion, would correlate with course grade, but did not observe any link. We did, however, note moderate correlation between answering a conceptual question correctly prior to peer conversation and course grade, indicating that while peer conversation improves the interactivity of a lecture course, interaction may be more important to student success than arriving at the correct answer.
  Footnotes: 1. Crouch, C. H. and E. Mazur, "Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results." American Journal of Physics 69 (9), 970-977.
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PST2C36:   

To What Extent Is Seeing Not Believing?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Kelly A. Miller, Harvard University
617-495-9616, kmiller@seas.harvard.edu
  Co-Author(s): Nathaniel Lasry, Eric Mazur
  Abstract: Demonstrations are vital components of most undergraduate physics courses. Despite their prominence, research has shown that students learn little, if anything from lecture demos. Worse, some research suggests depending on the delivery, demos can even contribute to students' misconceptions. We analyze one delivery method that requires students' predictions of lecture demonstration outcomes in introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism at two large research universities. We compare students' predictions before having seen the demonstration to what they report as having observed both right after the demonstration and several weeks later. Students' post-demonstration explanations of the physics behind each demonstration are also analyzed. Triangulation of these data points leads us to better understand how students' pre-instructional beliefs influence their interpretation and memory of physics lecture demonstrations. This can mitigate the "disconnect" that has been shown to exist between what instructors think they are demonstrating and what students actually observe/remember.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C37:   

Development Strategies for Interactive Online Learning Environments in Physics^1
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Christopher M. Nakamura
Kansas State University Physics Department
(785) 532-7167, cnakamur@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Sytil K. Murphy, Dean A. Zollman, Michael Christel, Scott Stevens
  Abstract: The Pathway Active Learning Environment (PALE) is part of an ongoing program of research aimed at investigating how to use interactive multimedia technology to facilitate online instruction in physics. Our research efforts are in part directed at uncovering and codifying general strategies to develop and implement online learning environments in efficient ways. PALE relies heavily on pre-recorded video both as a means of conveying verbal explanations and as a way of demonstrating physical phenomena. To function optimally it also requires significant input from students. Both of these requirements imply significant amounts of effort over prolonged periods of time are needed to create systems that respond appropriately to students' actions. This effort may be organized and distributed via the Internet by a larger group of developers. In this way an efficient and ongoing development cycle may be implemented. This poster discusses strategies for implementation.
  Footnotes: 1 This work is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant numbers REC-0632587 and REC-0632657.
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PST2C38:   

The Physics Class: Challenges and Problems in College Teaching in Mexico
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Miguel Olvera Aldana, ESCOM-IPN
52-55-57296000 ext 67748, molveraa@ipn.mx
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: This work studies the failures in a class of physics at Superior School on Computing from National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico (ESCOM-IPN), emphasizing that it is the only course of physics in the ESCOM curriculum. On the other hand, it was needed analysis and quantification on the influence of the physics course in the Computational Systems Engineers formation since perspective of developing their thesis. Finally, we show some actions by teachers from the basic science area in ESCOM to decrease these indices and motivate the students, including preparatory courses, problems, books, and electronic notes.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C39:   

Using Online Homework Data to Assess Student Confidence
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Joseph D. Peterson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
608-342-6160, peterson.joseph.d@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Andrew Pawl
  Abstract: A popular type of question in online homework involves a set of several true/false statements where students must submit their answer to all the statements at once. This discourages random guessing because although one true/false statement has only two possible answers, a question containing N such statements has two raised to the Nth power possible answers. We have studied student response patterns to a number of these questions with the goal of determining which of the individual true/false statements exhibit a large proportion of response switches (i.e. from true to false or from false to true) and which statements exhibit largely consistent responses. The tendency of students to change their answer to a statement or to remain consistent is one indication of student confidence in the knowledge tested.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C40:   

Perception of Model of Competences in Physics Teaching
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Mario Humberto Ramírez Díaz, CICATA-IPN
52-55-57296000 ext 67748, mramirezd@ipn.mx
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Since the '70s, two concepts from the business world have been adopted by education: innovation and competence. This talk will show how some physics educators are resisting or refusing to adopt the model of competence. This work is based on previous research made in Tabasco, Mexico, and directed to teachers in Law, History, and Sociology. We interviewed physics teachers, both college and high school, to get their opinion and experience with the model of competence. We present evidence about rejecting the model based on negative aspects of using the practice. However, some teachers found positive aspects of the model they can use in their daily practice, which we present in the talk.
  Footnotes: Work supported by COFAA-IPN
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PST2C41:   

Reflection about Negative Introduction of Technology in Physics Classes in Mexican Universities
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Mario Humberto Ramírez Díaz, CICATA-IPN
52-55-57296000 ext 67748, mramirezd@ipn.mx
  Co-Author(s): Luis Antonio García Trujillo
  Abstract: In recent years there has been much discussion about the idea that we must improve or optimize the learning processes in the traditional technologies classes. This idea in part has been inspired because of the fact that the new generation of students has grown up with direct technology interaction. However, in our experience as physics teachers in different universities in Mexico, we can't deny that occasionally the incorporation of technologies into the classroom is beneficial, for example we have used graphic software in the physics process, numeric simulations of experimental evidence, or applets available on the web. But, in our experience the students think the problems are monotone, furthermore they don't conceive that a problem could be solved with a mix of equations that describe the physics phenomena. In this work we give reflections on the introduction of technology in the physics class and its negative aspects on students' learning of physics in some universities in Mexico.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C42:   

Student Understanding of the Concepts of Substance and Chemical Change*
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Amy D. Robertson, University of Washington
(206) 251-1194, awrob@uw.edu
  Co-Author(s): Peter S. Shaffer, Lillian C McDermott
  Abstract: One of the fundamental notions in basic chemistry is that a chemical change is a process that transforms substances and conserves atoms. As part of a multi-year study on student reasoning about topics related to the particle nature of matter, a set of questions was designed to probe the extent to which university-level chemistry students apply the description of chemical change articulated above. Results from these questions will be presented and compared with results from previous studies involving K-12 students.
  Footnotes: *This work has been supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
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PST2C43:   

Increasing Confidence by Characterizing Self-Efficacy Experience Opportunities
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Vashti Sawtelle, Florida International University
305-968-9311, vashti.sawtelle@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Eric Brewe, Renee Michelle Goertzen, Laird H Kramer
  Abstract: We present the analysis of a qualitative investigation of three women from a Modeling Instruction (MI) classroom completing a problem-solving task as a discussion of self-efficacy experience opportunities (SEOs). Self-efficacy, or confidence in one's own ability to perform a task, has been shown to strongly correlate with persistence and success in science fields. At Florida International University, we have demonstrated that the MI class has a positive impact on introductory students' physics self-efficacy. To further investigate this development, we focus on one of the key elements of the MI classroom: modeling physical phenomena. This presentation will focus on characterizing SEOs and linking them to the development of self-efficacy as well as the Modeling process. Further, we believe this analysis provides a partial explanation for how the MI classroom positively impacts self-efficacy.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C44:   

Using Cogenerative Mediation in Classrooms
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Natan Samuels, Florida International University
305-348-3507, nsamu002@fiu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Eric Brewe
  Abstract: This poster will present ongoing research on our cogenerative mediation process for learning environments (CMPLE). Student and teacher participants in CMPLE have the opportunity to be collectively engaged in modifying their learning environment based on their preferences. Our research question is "How does this mediation process help participants negotiate modifications to their learning environment?" We are addressing this question by focusing on both student and teacher participants. Our data includes interviews and classroom artifacts.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C46:   

Improving Students' Understanding of Addition of Angular Momentum
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh
412-624-9045, clsingh@pitt.edu
  Co-Author(s): Guangtian Zhu
  Abstract: We are investigating the difficulties that upper-level students taking quantum mechanics have in learning about the addition of angular momentum. To help improve student understanding of these concepts, we have developed quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) and tools for peer-instruction. We will discuss the common students' difficulties and the effectiveness of research-based tools in improving students' understanding of these concepts. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation grant NSF-PHY-0855424.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C47:   

Peer Instruction for Quantum Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh
412-624-9045, clsingh@pitt.edu
  Co-Author(s): Guangtian Zhu
  Abstract: We are developing and evaluating resource material for "Peer Instruction" in quantum mechanics. A central component of the resource material is research-based concept tests that can be used by instructors as a formative assessment tool. The instructors can use these tools for bridging the gap between the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics and the qualitative understanding necessary to explain and predict diverse physical phenomena. Asking questions during the lecture and asking students to discuss it with each other before polling the class has already been shown to be effective at the introductory level. This method provides a mechanism to convey the goals of the course and the level of understanding that is desired of students and also helps students monitor their learning. We will discuss the development and assessment of these tools. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF-PHY-0653129).
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C48:   

Student Understanding of Taylor Series Expansions in Statistical Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Trevor I. Smith, University of Maine
207-581-1022, Trevor.I.Smith@umit.maine.edu
  Co-Author(s): John R. Thompson, Donald B. Mountcastle
  Abstract: One goal of physics instruction is to have students learn to make physical meaning of specific mathematical ideas, concepts, and procedures in different physical settings. As part of research investigating student learning in statistical physics, we are developing curriculum materials that guide students through a derivation of the Boltzmann factor, using a Taylor series expansion of entropy. Using results from written surveys, classroom observations, and both individual think-aloud and teaching interviews, we present evidence that, while many students can recognize and interpret series expansions, they often lack fluency with the Taylor series, despite previous exposures in both calculus and physics courses. We present students' successes and failures both using and interpreting Taylor series expansions in a variety of physical contexts.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C49:   

Problem Solving in Kinematics as a Measure of Conceptual Understanding
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Daniel M. Smith, Jr., South Carolina State University
803-536-7162, dsmith@scsu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Student difficulties in solving kinematics problems are often attributed to students' inability to choose the correct equation, or to weak skills in algebra. Evidence is presented from a calculus-based physics class, however, that students fail to solve problems because they lack a conceptual understanding of the problem, as determined by their ability to relate the problem data to a diagram. The limited roles that--choosing the right equation,-- and weak algebra skills play in problem solving is further explored by having students solve problems graphically by using interactive software designed especially for one-dimensional kinematics problems.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C50:   

The Positive Impact of Student Engagement on Learning and Retention
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Adam G. Tournier, McKendree University
(618) 537 - 2140, agtournier@mckendree.edu
  Co-Author(s): Minh Truong
  Abstract: Student engagement in the classroom, laboratory, and outside of traditional course settings has a dramatic and real impact on both conceptual and practical understanding of the material in algebra-based physics courses. The small class sizes available at liberal arts institutions create an environment whereby students can have more access to their professors in all areas of the course. The students that are engaged more frequently in the classroom and lab setting have a more profound understanding of the material both conceptually and in application. Students who are engaged outside of the traditional course setting with both their instructors and peers demonstrate the greatest understanding and retention of the course material.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C51:   

Is This Good Teaching? Assessment Challenges for Both Faculty and Institutions
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Chandra A. Turpen, Western Michigan University
303.817.0250, Chandra.Turpen@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Charles Henderson, Melissa Dancy
  Abstract: As part of a larger research study, we focus on the investigation of barriers to instructional change. One significant barrier that has emerged is that neither faculty nor their institutions know how to evaluate student learning (or teaching effectiveness) in introductory physics courses. In this poster, we will present results from telephone interviews with 70 physics faculty related to how faculty and their institutions evaluate teaching effectiveness. We will focus on the following research questions: 1) What information is gathered about instructors? teaching and students? learning? 2) How is this information used? 3) How are different sources of information perceived or valued by faculty? Helping faculty (and possibly institutions) make judgments about whether their instruction is working may be an integral part of supporting efforts to improve undergraduate physics instruction.
  Footnotes: Supported, in part, by NSF Award No. 0715698
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PST2C52:   

TAs' Judgments about Student Problem-solving Difficulties
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Joshua S. Von Korff, Kansas State University
785-532-1612, vonkorff@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Dehui Hu, N. Sanjay Rebello
  Abstract: Physics education researchers commonly judge students' behavior as "novice" or "expert" behavior. How do TAs make similar judgments about student problem solving ability? We report on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of focus group interview data from a study of TA discussions. In our study, TAs analyzed student problem solving, by reading transcripts of conversations and trying to anticipate or explain student difficulties. Our study classifies TAs' judgments about student problem solving using the "novice-centered" and "expert-centered" axis. We also consider Tas' justifications for their claims, and other features of their discussion. We describe the relative frequency of these different ways of speaking, both for individual Tas and in the aggregate.
  Footnotes: This work is supported in part by U.S. National Science Foundation grant 0816207.
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PST2C53:   

Exploring Student Interpretations of Worked Examples
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Judy Vondruska,
605-688-5859, Judy.Vondruska@sdstate.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: This project will present results of a qualitative research study undertaken in the spring of 2011 which focused on how students interacted with worked problem examples in physics and the level to which they understood the worked examples. While many textbook publishers are now providing worked examples in various forms with varying degrees of explanation and interactivity, it is unclear to what extent these are truly useful to the learner. This study undertakes the effort to explore this level of understanding more deeply.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C54:   

Development of a Standardized Fluids Assessment
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: DJ Wagner, Grove City College
724-301-1205, djwagner@gcc.edu
  Co-Author(s): Sam Cohen, Adam Moyer, Jason Wetstone, Elizabeth Carbone
  Abstract: We are developing an FCI-style assessment covering hydrostatic topics commonly included in introductory physics courses. Students from all three introductory tracks (conceptual-, trig-, and calculus-based) at Grove City College have completed draft versions of our assessment, both pre- and post-instruction, and we are ready to distribute a beta version for testing by other institutions. This poster will present the assessment, along with analysis of the questions and plans for the future. We're particularly interested in receiving suggestions from other educators and in recruiting beta-testers. Stop by and chat!
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C55:   

Math Preparation for Under-prepared Students in Physics Courses
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Jing Wang, Eastern Kentucky University
859-6221526, jing.wang@eku.edu
  Co-Author(s): Jerry Cook
  Abstract: Previous studies suggest that students enrolled in introductory physics courses are usually not well prepared in mathematical skills. Math placement tests and course prerequisites are the two frequently adopted methods in dealing with the issue. Unsatisfied by either method, the Department of Physics and Astronomy (PHAS) at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) decides to offer an alternative solution by offering an auxiliary short course taken concurrently with introductory physics. Recommendations are made to students with relatively-low math pre-test scores. However, the course is open to anyone who is taking introductory physics. This work will discuss PHAS's practice of assisting math-unprepared students through this course called Success in College Physics.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C56:   

Using Computer Coaches for Problem Solving to Explore Student Decision-making Difficulties
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Qing Xu, University of Minnesota-Twin cities
6126259323, qxu@physics.umn.edu
  Co-Author(s): Ken Heller, Leon Hsu, Andrew Mason
  Abstract: The Physics Education Group at the University of Minnesota has been developing Internet physics coaches to help students improve their problem-solving skills in introductory physics. In this poster, we will show the keystroke data collected from students' usage of the computer programs, including the identity and timing information for all students' keystrokes and mouse clicks while using the programs, as well as derived information such as the average time spent on each module. We use the data to try to determine how students use the computer programs, where they might have the most difficulty, and details of their decision-making behavior during the problem-solving process. Other data sources such as students' written solutions will be used as a consistency check.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C57:   

Correlation between FCI Gains and Interactive Engagement
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Philip W. Young, University of Wisconsin - Platteville
(608)342-1406, youngp@uwplatt.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Introductory physics classes at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville moved from a traditional lecture hall environment to studio classrooms in spring 2009. To assess the transition, we have been administering the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) to all sections of calculus-based Physics I beginning in spring 2008. We have also defined an Interactive Engagement Index (IEI) for each section. This index is based on self-reported information on six factors: time spent lecturing; student engagement with concepts, problem solving, and hands-on learning activities; the degree of integration of the lab with the lecture; and large-group discussions. The correlation between FCI gain and IEI for all 20 sections between S08 and F10 is 0.92. This poster will present details on the IEI, update the data to include in spring 2011, and look at the correlation in more depth. This work was supported by NSF-DUE CCLI 0633583.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C58:   

Students' Difficulties with Scalar Multiplication of a Vector and Vector Subtraction
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Genaro Zavala, Tecnologico de Monterrey
528183582000, x4631, genaro.zavala@itesm.mx
  Co-Author(s): Pablo Barniol
  Abstract: In this work we investigate students' understanding of: 1) scalar multiplication of a vector and, 2) vector subtraction. We administered two tests to 717 students completing introductory physics courses at a private Mexican university. In the first part, we used a modified version of a problem designed by Van Deventer [1] to investigate students' difficulties with multiplication of a vector by a positive scalar and we designed a problem to study students' difficulties with multiplication of a vector by a negative scalar. We compared the frequencies of the errors in these two problems to comprehend students' conceptions in these vector operations. In the second part, we designed a vector subtraction problem and identified errors that haven´t been reported in the literature.
  Footnotes: [1] J. Van Deventer, Comparing student performance on isomorphic math and physics vector representations, Master?s Thesis, The University of Maine, 2008.
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PST2C59:   

New Pictorial Representations and Supporting Text of Sound Standing Waves of Air Columns in a Tube
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Liang Zeng, The University of Texas-Pan American
9566652169, zengl@utpa.edu
  Co-Author(s): Corpuz Edgar, Chris Smith, Jennifer Rodriguez
  Abstract: New pictorial representations of sound standing waves of air columns in a tube were drawn for the first three harmonics in an open-open tube as well as in an open-closed tube. Supporting text describing air molecule motion over time was also provided. These representations and supporting text were designed to reveal the main characteristics of the physical mechanisms of sound standing waves in these two different types of tubes. Through a pilot study utilizing surveys and student interviews, we investigated the differences in the effects on student learning of underlying physics concepts between the new pictorial representations and the existing ones in an introductory physics textbook. The implications of our results for teaching were discussed.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C60:   

Students' Ability in Constructing Formal Logical Reasoning
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Shaona Zhou, South China Normal University
614-292-2450 , zhou.shaona@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Hua Xiao, Jing Han, Kathy Koenig, Lei Bao
  Abstract: While students seem to easily pick up the valid variables in a context of multi-variable situations, they often have difficulty in constructing the correct logical relations between variables and outcomes. This research investigated students' understanding about two kinds of logical thinking involving conditional relations. We found that students' reasoning in situations involving necessary conditions outperformed their reasoning involving sufficient conditions. Results from students at different grade levels showed steady improvement with age on picking the correct variables, while their logical thinking had no obvious changes. The results suggest that logical thinking is a higher level scientific reasoning ability that doesn't fully develop through our current education which emphasizes content knowledge.
  Footnotes: **Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
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PST2C61:   

Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Guangtian Zhu, University of Pittsburgh
412-251-3716, zhuguangtian@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh
  Abstract: The measurement of a physical observable in a quantum system is very different from the measurement in a classical system. Understanding the properties of quantum measurement is essential for interpreting quantum mechanics. We investigate the students' difficulties related to the quantum measurement by giving written tests and interviewing advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the quantum mechanics class. We also discuss the students' improvement of interpreting quantum measurement after they use the research-based learning tools. Our data shows that the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and Peer Instruction Tools will enhance students' understanding of the quantum measurement. *Supported by NSF
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C62:   

Surveying Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Guangtian Zhu, University of Pittsburgh
412-251-3716, zhuguangtian@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh
  Abstract: Development of conceptual multiple-choice tests related to a particular physics topic is important for designing research-based learning tools to reduce the difficulties. We explore the difficulties that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of one particle in one spatial dimension. We developed a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey that targets these issues to obtain information about the common difficulties and administered it to more than a hundred students from seven different institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include the set of possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, the role of the Hamiltonian, time-dependence of wavefunction and time-dependence of expectation value. We find that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts and that research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The survey can be administered to assess the effectiveness of various intructional strategies. *Supported by NSF
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C63:   

Student-Generated Diagrams for Understanding Chemical Equations
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: Dyan L. McBride, Mercyhurst College
814-969-6917, dmcbride@mercyhurst.edu
  Co-Author(s): Reni Roseman
  Abstract: It is clear that students have difficulty creating a physical interpretation of equations. This project is part of a larger study involving the interactions of physics, math, and chemistry learning. In this poster, we present findings from a study of student-generated diagrams that represent chemical equations. The results of the study indicate that while many students have difficulty creating representations of the equations, they are able to adapt and improve their model to include a variety of features.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C64:   

ViPER: A Possible Model for Solo Physics Education Researchers
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 6:00PM - 6:45PM
  Author: Scott W. Bonham, Western Kentucky University
(270)745-6196, scott.bonham@wku.edu
  Co-Author(s): Jing Wang, Jon Gaffney
  Abstract: The Kentucky Virtual Physics Education Research (ViPER) group was formed in August 2010 by three solo physics education researchers in the state. Using Web 2.0 tools as well as periodic face-to-face gatherings, we conduct regular group meetings, share literature and data, and work collaboratively on several projects. The collaboration provides many of the benefits of a larger research group, such as complementary research skills, mentoring, interviewing each other's students, critical feedback and sharing resources. ViPER also significantly reduces the isolation we would have otherwise experienced as solo physics education researchers. These initial activities have been supported by a PERLOC mini grant and the chairs of our respective departments, and we are currently applying for larger collaborative grants. In this poster we will share specifics about how we conduct our virtual research group and what we believe to be the key factors, making it a model for other solo PER faculty.
  Footnotes: None
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PST2C65:   

Three Undergraduate Experiments in Rubidium-Argon Collision Spectroscopy
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 5:15PM - 6:00PM
  Author: David A. Olsgaard, Simpson College
515-961-1829, david.olsgaard@simpson.edu
  Co-Author(s): Mike Henry, Austin Roy, Tayler Buresh
  Abstract: Many laser spectroscopy experiments utilizing rubidium vapor cells have been demonstrated in the undergraduate laboratory. We introduce three new undergraduate spectroscopy experiments using rubidium vapor cells back-filled with an argon buffer gas. These experiments introduce students to the role elastic and inelastic collisions can play in the absorption and emission spectrum of atoms. The first experiment is a dramatic demonstration of hyperfine optical pumping aided by velocity-changing collisions with the buffer gas in which we observe 100% transfer of population to one hyperfine level. The second experiment shows an unexpected modification of the rubidium fluorescence spectrum as a function of argon pressure and laser intensity. A simplified 3-level rate equation model predicts the unusual feature. The third experiment is the observation of a decrease in the excited state lifetime of the 6P3/2 level as function of buffer gas pressure. A Stern-Volmer plot yields the inelastic collision cross-section.
  Footnotes: None
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